DestinationVows 2018

REAL WEDDINGS

Axelle and Kelvin: A très chic tropical fête By: Christina Newberry

Nothing says paradise like bringing far-flung families together in Riviera Maya.

with the couple so well that she joined them in Mexico for the wedding. To celebrate the coming together of their families from so far away, Axelle and Kelvin incorporated both French and Canadian elements into their big day. As favours, they offered guests miniature bottles of Magnotta ice wine from Ontario and custom-baked sugar cookies packaged into tiny Eiffel Towers.

Axelle and Kelvin Mitchell always knew they wanted to marry in Mexico. Axelle’s family lives in France, and she doesn’t get to see them often. “They had to travel anyway,” Axelle says. “So from day one, we knew it would be better to make it like a vacation.” With nearly 50 guests flying in from Canada and France for their wedding at Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort,

the Toronto-based couple sought help from DestinationVows specialist Marie Odorizzi. Along with managing the details in two languages, the couple recalls Odorizzi taking special care with Axelle’s father, who was afraid to fly. To reduce his anxiety, she sent drawings showing what to expect during his journey, including how to avoid the time-share salespeople at Cancun airport. In the end, Odorizzi clicked

Bilingual tags reading “eat me” and “drink me” were attached to reference Alice in Wonderland, a thematic touch Axelle had always dreamed of including in her wedding. “Coordination of the favours in the luggage was pretty funny,” Kevin says. “Each of us took our allowed number of [ice wine], and Marie was very helpful with the regulations.” Wedding planner Bernadette Galego, who regularly works with Odorizzi, got some questions at security about her carry-on bag stuffed to the brim with cookies, but they made it to the resort intact. On the morning of their wedding, Axelle and Kelvin took time to relax and enjoy a room service breakfast together before the celebrations began. When it was time for the ceremony, they gathered with their guests in an area so secret, the other resort guests had no idea it was there. “We got to walk through a tunnel made of trees,” Axelle explains. The tunnel led to a private beach on a small cliff where Axelle and Kelvin said their vows in both English and French under an archway of pink and white flowers and palm fronds. “The private area was really special,” Kelvin recalls. “You really can’t get that at just any resort.” The feeling of being in their own private world continued into the cocktail hour as guests lounged on white sofas under a canopy of palms in a secluded tropical forest. Only after the wedding dinner in a private palapa – followed by three hours of dancing – did the wedding guests return to the main resort area so they could keep the party going at the disco.

“Doing the worm on the dance floor was definitely a highlight of the night,” Kelvin laughs. “Friends told me my wedding day would go by so quickly that I wouldn’t be able to remember it,” Axelle says. “But a destination wedding allowed me to focus on my experience. There was no stress. It was pure enjoyment, and I have so many memories.” “It was one of the best days of my life,” Kelvin agrees, with a smile. THE DETAILS GUESTS: 47 THE SPOT: Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico THE THEME: France meets Canada THE BRIDE WORE: A custom gown by Maureen Patricia THE DESTINATION EXPERTS: Marie Odorizzi DestinationVows specialist All photos credited to: Natalie Paivo

“They gathered with their guests in an area so secret, the other resort guests had no idea it was there”

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